The Federal Government on Tuesday said that the National Housing Programme was designed with ‘Ramps’ for mobility and interactions in consideration of people living with disabilities.
The Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Suleiman Zarma, made this known during an inspection of the ongoing construction of the NHP in Ado-Ekiti.
Zarma, in the company of some ministry’s officials, was on an assessment tour of the Federal Government’s roads and housing projects in the south-west geo-political zone.
NHP is designed nationwide to suit different categories of people, especially people living with disabilities through provision of Ramps to ease their movement in the buildings.
However, in the course of the inspection in Ado-Ekiti, the minister said that people living with disabilities should not be restricted to the ground floors only, as designed in the site, and should be allowed to interact freely.
He said: “In the world, people living with disabilities are integrated without being segregated. So there is no point to say that you have them only on the ground floor that is another phase of segregation.
“They should be able to go to all the floors and to all the levels of the building; they should be accommodated to carry out their activities.”
Zarma, a surveyor, urged the officials in charge of the NHP in the state to make sure that the designs were suitable for the disabled in the next phase of the NHP in the state.
According to him, the staircases will be strips or ramps that will cater for their movement.
He said: “They should not segregate the people with disabilities by restricting them to the ground floor; they should be allowed to go up and interact.’’
The NHP Team Leader in the state, Segun Dosu, noted that due to initial set back caused by relocation challenge, the 70 housing units being constructed began late but was nearing completion.
The architect assured the minister that the design for the second phase of the programme, which would commence soon, would go beyond the ground floor and extent to others to accommodate the people living with disabilities.
He said that all the contractors were mobilised and reported to the site except one that was handling two number blocks of three bedrooms, who was yet to report for site handing over.
According to him, the contractor has been served with warning letter to do so with a view to commencing the process of determining his contract.
Dosu said: “The water infrastructure contract is already at 80 per cent completion with the drilling of four boreholes, installation of ground and overhead tanks and construction of water treatment plant.
“The road infrastructure contract progress include completion of site survey, setting out of roads, cutting and bending of re-enforcement are ongoing with a view to commence concrete works on the drainage.
“External electrification progress includes the completion of erection of poles and construction of housing for transformer sub-stations while cable line installation is ongoing.”
Dosu said that the project also created jobs and wealth for not only the building professionals and contractors but also 1,500 skilled and unskilled artisans.
The representative of the contractors, Raji Kehinde, appealed to the ministry to ensure provision of fund to avoid delay in the completion of the project.
One of the indigenes, Femi Adetifa, in an interview with Housing news, expressed joy over the housing projects in the state and called for continuity by the Federal Government.
The minister also inspected the ongoing construction of N3.3 billion Federal Secretariat Complex, located at New Iyin road, Ado-Ekiti by Messrs Deux Project Ltd. with 20 per cent completion.